I passed my Master Mariner exam in December that year. But, remained in Australia until February 1990, to do some touring and catching up with a few friends who lived in Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.
There was a very good opportunity for my class mates and I who passed the exam, to remain in Australia and apply for permanent resident status, as the College was ready to employ a few of us, as teachers. But, especially after my father’s death I wanted to return to Sri Lanka and be with my mother and family. It was unfair by me to just stay away from the family under such circumstances.
I returned to Sri Lanka in February and started looking for a job at sea. God is great! In May, the same year, a senior Captain, helped me with a job as Master. That was great, I thought. It’s truly a rare occasion, that one gets command straight away. Thanks be to God.
I joined the ship in Singapore and sailed for about seven months. I signed off for Christmas. Prior to my signing off, the shipping company wanted me to return, and they found a person to fill-in for me for two months. I had a good Christmas with my family. Of course I missed my father very much.